EU mine waste control costs explored

Future directive could have modest but commercially significant impact, say consultants

Stronger EU environmental controls on mining wastes could have a modest but commercially significant impact on miners' costs, according to a consultancy study released by the European Commission's environment directorate. The Commission has already signalled its intention to propose new measures following high profile mine spills and has been consulting on what these should be (EED 20/06/01).

The report estimates current waste management costs for different minerals, focusing on zinc, copper, gold, coal and potash mines. It declines to estimate future costs, arguing that the content of a planned mining waste directive is still unknown.

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